FRIDAYS WITH DARYL
Happy Derby weekend to all. I love this time of the year but is also means that we really are wrapping up the seasons and the school year as many are celebrating graduations and Mothers Day, as well.
Let's just hope for some sunny skies and wins at the track and for the Cards! For good reason, UofL athletics typically hits the road on Derby weekend.
Bringing in a 27-21 overall record, 10-11 in the ACC, the Cardinals wrap up the regular season with a weekend series against #20 ranked Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish bring in a 5 game winning streak and a 36-9 overall record but they haven't played since April 26th. ND stands 4th in the ACC at 13-5 with their conferences loses being to Virginia (2), Georgia Tech and Clemson (2).
Notre Dame’s offense is led by sophomore first baseman Karina Gaskins. Gaskins leads the ACC with a .442 average, hitting 11 doubles, 11 home runs and driving in a conference-best 55 runs. Freshman Jane Kronenberger worked her way into the starting lineup and is hitting at a .400 average, playing in 32 games, making 22 starts. She’s third on the team with 27 RBI, hitting nine doubles and three home runs. The outfield trio of Abby Sweet, Emma Clark and Leea Hanks are all hitting .371 or above, and combined have 11 home runs, nine triples, 31 doubles, 42 stolen bases and have scored 140 runs.
The trio of Alexis Holloway, Payton Tidd and Shannon Becker have thrown all the innings for the Irish this season. Senior pitcher Tidd and Grad. Senior pitcher Holloway earned ACC honors in back to back weeks 4/12 and 4/19. Tidd has worked as the series opener owning a 2.58 ERA and a team-best 14 wins, eight complete games and 119.1 innings of work. Holloway has thrown two no-hitters on the year, while earning a 2.92 ERA and 13 wins. She’s started a team-high 18 games while throwing 103.0 innings. Combined the trio have held opponents to a .228 average against.
Notre Dame leads the series with the Cards 23-17. The last time the two teams met was in 2019. Notre Dame won two out of three games in South Bend, sweeping a doubleheader by scores of 9-1 in each game. Louisville won 5-3 in the series finale.
Entering her 20th season as leader of the Notre Dame softball program, Deanna Gumpf continues to ascend the ladder as one of the nation’s premier head coaches.
ACC SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
As it stands on Thursday evening, the Cards should qualify for the 7th seed in the ACC Tournament which is next week, May 11-14 at Vartabedian Field in Pittsburgh, PA. A sweep over the Irish and the Cards would tie Virginia in the standings while Notre Dame is chasing Florida State and going for the sweep on Senior Weekend. FSU is visiting NC State looking for cushion from the Irish's hunt.
A couple squads at the top of the conference have already wrapped up their regular season as they look ahead to the tournaments -- Virginia Tech, Clemson and Virginia. Georgia Tech has finished 11-13 in the ACC and await to see what the Cards can do this weekend or if they will jump UofL in the conference standings.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast -- With the local holiday, the gang is also taking Saturday off from the podcast to spend time celebrating. I plan on picking my Oaks and Derby winners 30 minutes before 'They're Off!!' each day. If you want some suggestions on who to bet on, go to Paulie Picks.
As Always - Go Cards